Disclaimer: I got this book free in exchange for a review
Rarely does my opinion of a book change so drastically from beginning to end (and throughout). When I started the book, I was wary of where it was going to go. It seemed a bit too nice and clean. Then, mid-way through I started thinking I’d give it maybe three stars. And at the end it ended up with 4. It’s not a perfect book by any means. But it won me over, by golly, and somehow I just ended up really liking it.
The things I didn’t like: the timeline jumps forward in steps that make it a little hard to follow for the first few paragraphs while orienting one’s self to the protagonist’s new situation. Sometimes the story got a bit clunky. Some of the morals in the story are a little anvilicious.
What I did like: this seems to be a growing trend, but the main character was on the autism spectrum. It makes some things easier to deal with storywise, but I still like that people with differently functioning brains are getting more stories and more people out there to see what it’s like to be different. The book was pretty realistic on teen emotions, sex drives, etc. The book was pitched to me as “because you really liked Harry Potter, you’ll like this”. Maybe the kids in England mature more slowly than America, but I thought later Potter books had Potter and the gang a little slow on the dating game.
Overall, I like the universe Vaydensen puts together and while it feels like there is room for more stories in the universe, it also seems a pretty satisfying way to end a story without needing to wrap up every loose end. I’d compare it in that way to the first book in the Hunger Games trilogy or the first Matrix movie. Sure, there’s more story to be told, but you can stop right here and feel like you weren’t cheated.